The following is an announcement from Seattle Foundation:

Seattle Foundation launched the Resilience Fund with the goal of safeguarding and advancing the safety, security, constitutional or human rights of our region’s vulnerable community members.

The Resilience Fund will support community-based nonprofits seeking flexible funding to respond to both immediate and short-term needs, as well as longer-term efforts that strengthen vulnerable communities and increase their resilience in the face of emerging challenges. These nonprofits are facing increased needs for information, support, legal guidance, organizing and advocacy to address threats and discrimination based on factors including race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, disability and country of origin.

“As the community’s foundation, we view the very real challenges our vulnerable residents face as non-partisan matters,” said Tony Mestres, president and CEO of Seattle Foundation, in a statement. “This effort to safeguard the rights and well-being of our residents is inspired by the long-standing values of our community. The Resilience Fund reflects our commitment to empower people, to amplify their voices and to advocate for themselves.”

King County has contributed $350,000 to this timely grantmaking effort, with its funds dedicated to support organizations that serve and support immigrants and refugees. The county will consult on needs through its Office of Equity and Social Justice (ESJ). The county’s funds will be committed to increasing empowerment, advocacy and democratic participation in our communities, and helping to protect the civil and legal rights of members of immigrant and refugee communities.

“King County has long been a beacon of opportunity for immigrants from around the world. People come here every day to seek a better life for themselves and their families and, in turn, they create a better life for all of us,” said Dow Constantine, King County Executive. “Our Office of Equity and Social Justice has made defending the rights of immigrants and refugees a top priority. The Resilience Fund will provide greater access to vital health, legal and social services to build a stronger, more inclusive community.”

Additional pooled funds from Seattle Foundation and our philanthropic partners, Medina Foundation,Stolte Family Foundation and Emerald Fund, will be granted to organizations serving a variety of vulnerable communities as a result of changing federal policies and declining funding. These may include immigrant and refugee communities facing changing rules and policies; women and girls whose health care options are decreasing; people of color facing voting restrictions; seniors or low-wage workers who experience funding cuts to housing programs, LGBTQ populations, individuals with disabilities and others.

The Resilience Fund will provide grants of up to $25,000 to community-based nonprofits. In 2017, there will be two grant cycles, with deadlines of June 26 and September 29. The first phase of funding, with a deadline of June 26, will distribute more than $500,000 to qualified applicants. Total funds for the next grant cycle, with a deadline of September 29, are still in development and will be announced later.

Seattle Foundation has committed $250,000 to the fund and continues to raise money from other private and public sector funders who want to participate in this collaborative funding partnership to support, protect and advance the rights and voices of our marginalized community members.

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